I have some mums that came up this spring and are almost a foot high. Do they need to be trimmed so they will “bush out”?
The Gardener’s Answer
Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are a very large genus including annuals and perennials. They perform best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil. Depending on the variety that you’re growing, your chrysanthemum will begin blooming late summer or early fall. Pinching the foliage back is a good idea and will encourage a more compact growth habit, more stems, and more blooms. You can use a clean pair of gardening scissors or your index finger and thumb. Pinch back about 1 inch at a time. This can be done a couple times throughout the summer, but do not pinch back after the beginning of July. The plant needs this amount of time to produce blooms. Chrysanthemums are not heavy feeders, but will benefit from added nutrients before bud set. A half dose of your favorite fertilizer will be sufficient. Too many nutrients can actually prevent blooms.